Traveling Taiwan has been a wonderful experience for me. I sincerely appreciate the kind generosity from ICDF/NTNU, sponsor and host school respectively, for affording us these grand trips. What I absolutely adore about Taiwan is the island’s scenic beauty and its richness of ancient Chinese culture and history. The land and sea of Taiwan hold special features that give me a sense of admiration and awe for nature’s creation. For example, the unique formations of the landscape are breathtaking because of their splendid characteristics.

I especially appreciated my visits to Alishan Mountain, Sun Moon Lake and Green Island. My stays in those places were marvelous; therefore, I would like to share the adventure and enjoyment that I experienced on my journey to those special places.

On our three-day trip to Alishan Mountain, which is located in central Taiwan, we first stopped for a tour of the Earthquake Memorial Museum. This historical museum is located in the exact spot where the earthquake of 1999 destroyed this area, killing many people and devastating a wide swath of land. The museum hosts a wealth of knowledge on geological issues pertaining to the earth and earthquakes.

Inside museum track host museum destroyed classroom

From that stop we moved along to the Alishan Mountain Resort Hotel to relax for the long adventure planned for the following day. Early in the morning, we woke to catch the railway train to witness what lay ahead on the mountain top. We were all dressed in extremely thick jackets to help keep us warm from the freezing temperature. The famous red train carried us from 30 meters above sea level, to the top of Alishan 2,216 meters above sea level. On the way, we saw a wide variety of flora and fauna, as the train climbed along from subtropical vegetation to pine forest. When we arrived at the top, the scene was spectacular. It was as if I was on top of the world. The thick, fluffy clouds sat on the mountains and engulfed us while we waited to observe the sunrise. Then it came: the brilliant sun jumped from behind the mountain and appeared within minutes. It was truly breathtaking and beautiful.

After returning from the mountain top, we spent the remainder of the day trekking through nature trails in the forest, and visiting a special Daoist temple and mini stores around the resort.

 

Railway train Sunrise Alishan Mountain   Trails in the park

 

Alishan was indeed remarkable for its pristine nature trails and magnificent sunrise and sunset.

Our next lovely three-day excursion was to Sun Moon Lake, which is also located in central Taiwan. Before arriving in the Sun Moon Lake area, we took a tour of the famous wine factory which produces Taiwan’s finest liquor and contains a museum that displayed historical manufacturing processes of rum and wine, done by the aborigines of Taiwan.

We arrived late that night at Sun Moon Lake. There we lodged at the Honey Moon Hotel, which was a fabulous place with spacious and luxurious rooms.

The following day we toured the areas around the lake. It is the largest natural lake in Taiwan, and is surrounded by huge mountains. The lake resembles the shape of a moon next to a sun. The island in the middle of the lake is a place that was held to be sacred. Later, we took a tour of Wenwu Temple which was spacious and decorated with many colors. The unique temple was said to have been an ancient school for warriors.

 

Aborigine Market     Sun Moon Lake    Wenwu Temple

 

After our exhilarating day out, we rushed back to the hotel to soak in the relaxing hot water spring, where we indulged for the evening. We then retired to a well deserved rest.

On our return to Taipei the next day, we stopped to visit a huge farm that had many sheep; there an Australian demonstrated the shaving of the wool off the sheep. This was an interesting agricultural practice; first, the sheep dog gathered the sheep and then drove them into the fenced area where the Australian farmer collected the sheep, performed the shaving and gathered the wool. After witnessing this interesting practice we walked along the path. Near the farm was a little village with an incredible view of the hillside and the distant valley. On the way back to Taipei I thought to myself that this experience had without a doubt been an unforgettable and gratifying one.

During this final outing, which I am so delighted to share, was a three days trip to Green Island in the pacific. First, we spent the overnight in Taichung before boarded the Ferry at Fungang wharf. Then we took a 45 minutes boat ride to the Island. The Green Island was told to us to have many ancient secretes, beautiful rock formation, natural and man made temples and an array of flora and fauna. Many hidden secret, since the island hosted a jail house from centuries ago and with it had many tales and beautiful rock formation, that somehow seemed artificial at first glance but when closed up it was as natural as could be. In addition, temples that where special and important to the sea men. And indeed this was so.

When we arrived we took half day and toured around the island, then in the afternoon we went snorkeling and in the late night we scouted for deer and other animals in the jungle. We finished the night’s outing with a long soak in the sea water hot spring, which was very good.

 

General’s Rock  Sea shore Rock formation

 

Before returning to Taipei the following day, we took another half day and toured the other side of the island. On our tour, we say the jail house, park area, Sleeping Beauty’s Rock, Pekinese Dog’s Rock, General’s Rock and the long standing Light House. Green Island was remarkable for its pristine rock formation. And for me, that was superb.

My overall experience, traveling Taiwan, has been inspiring and impressive. Taiwan’s magnificent island has so much to offer both recreational and educational. Furthermore, I appreciate all its majestic wonders, since I adore nature and the opportunity to learn new and improve techniques.